Sunday, January 15, 2012

First block for the Swoon quilt

I started doing the Swoon Along and discovered how to construct that block in a way that is much more simple.

In a nutshell, you don't need to make the Swoon block out of so many pieces. The way I did it also allows you to not cut up some of the fabric so much. In my sample block here, you can see I fussy cut many of the pieces.

This is an overview for those that have the pattern: 
You don't make so many half square triangles and flying geese and you will SAVE TIME—yipee! You do use more fabric, but that is a good trade off in my book.*

Start with a big square—the same size as the square at the very center of the block—and sew smaller background and contrast squares off of its corners to start creating the units in step 7 and 8. Those smaller squares are the same size as the small squares used for the flying geese. You only need a 8 half square triangles and 4 flying geese for each Swoon block.

Sorry that I'm not writing this out more clearly. I'm trying to share what I know in a way that doesn't basically re-publish the pattern in the exact same size. 

*WARNING: The big caveat is that you cannot do this block construction with only a fat quarter of the fabric I fussy cut (I'm not talking about fussy cutting—just having enough to make the block in the most efficient way possible). You have to have a half yard of that print. It would be better to have more than a fat quarter of the other print (the one in the center star) although I did the math and it can be done. I think the original pattern also cuts it pretty close, so that if you are a person that pre-washes, you might consider getting more yardage too.

As an interesting aside and inspiration for colors:
As I was looking around, I did find out that the block is a known under a couple different names:
• variation of Carpenter's Wheel
• Rolling Star
• Star of Bethlehem
Here are some vintage examples of similar quilts. Aren't they fun!
LOVE the use of black and quirky block layout  ::  Well loved vintage quilt  ::  Gorgeous vintage version from the 50s out of solids  ::  Burnt Orange from the late 70's  ::   Worn one from the 50's  ::  Not sure the date on this one  ::  My fave: Solids from the 80's  (LOVE the block on the lower left)  ::  The more typical Carpenter's Wheel instructions and a version Marci Girl made with the same instructions (looks just like the block on the Swoon quilt)


two hippos said...

Thanks for this post. I'm not sure why you took the more comprehensive and clear instructions down, but several of my quilting buddies and I have discussed how the Swoon block is basically a Carpenter's Wheel block. Thus there are innumerable ways to construct it, traditional and otherwise, that vary only slightly from the pattern's version.

Melissa said...

Great! Thanks! I know it'll come in handy...any time saver is a bonus in my book. :)

Katie @SwimBikeQuilt said...

smart! It's interesting to see where so many modern quilters get their inspiration (quilt encyclopedias are a huge resource, i've noticed).

Anna said...

very cool. I was making my 5th block tonight and was just thinking that it could be more accurate with less pieces. anyway, great job.

audreypawdrey said...

Thank you! I had so much fun seeing your block at the meeting, and I can't wait to get started now!

Sheila said...

I love the way you fussy-cut that curvy fabric. Your block looks great! And thanks for the links to the vintage quilts. I love some of the ones with stripes!

Tiffany said...

I think it looks great with the simplified piecing. I'm going to do mine this way too. And your fussy-cutting is fantastic!

Cherie said...

Let me guess about your instructions...did someone ask you to remove your instructions?

SewHappyGeek said...

Hi Kari, I'm Jenna from SewHappyGeek. A bloggy friend of mine sent me the link to your post, and I'd like to assure you that you're not violating any copyright by posting the full instructions. Here's a post I wrote on copyright that might help, and I can always be reached at :)
I'm not a lawyer, but have studied copyright extensively in relation to crafting. Best Wishes m'dear!